Dylan’s “I And I” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was. - Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: In interviews through the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a handful of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Heck Of A Guy feature that began playing these tunes for your edification and entertainment on April 4, 2009.

Bob Dylan And Leonard Cohen Talk Shop

One of the anecdotes in the standard catechism all good Leonard Cohen acolytes learn has to do with the contrast in the time required by Bob Dylan and Cohen to compose a song. The story appears in several Cohen interviews. The following iteration is from Leonard Cohen, Los Angeles 1992, a section of “Songwriters On Songwriting” by Paul Zollo:

That [“Hallelujah”] was a song that took me [Leonard Cohen] a long time to write. Dylan and I were having coffee the day after his concert in Paris a few years ago and he was doing that song in concert. And he asked me how long it took to write it. And I told him a couple of years. I lied actually. It was more than a couple of years.

Then I praise a song of his, “I and I,” and asked him how long it had taken and he said, “Fifteen minutes.” [Laughter]

Bob Dylan (

Bob Dylan (1962) and Leonard Cohen (writing Beautiful Losers, mid-1960s)

Bob Dylan – I And I

Coming Attractions: More Dylan

St Dylan and the High Priest Of Pathos1 have been members of a mutual admiration society.  At least two more Bob Dylan songs have been listed among Cohen’s favorites and will be featured in upcoming Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox posts.

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Other Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Posts

All posts featured in the Heck Of A Guy Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at the end of the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

  1. Another nickname for Leonard Cohen; see Leonard Cohen, AKA … – The Nicknames []

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